Bookmark and Share

Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

I was dismayed by what I read in Jim McQuiggin’s article, “CDC to consider hiring Big Box consultant.” But before I go further, we must enter a suspension of disbelief, and willingly pretend that a Big Box will invest in our poor little Pagosa.

Said $1,000/day (plus expenses) consultant, Dr. Kenneth Stone, may have been featured in the May, 2007 CNBC documentary “The Age of Wal-Mart,” but that has been superseded by the September 2009 CNBC documentary “The New Age of Walmart.”

You can watch “The New Age of Walmart” by going to this link: It is an eye-opener.

After researching Dr. Kenneth Stone’s work, it appears that he has a bias for encouraging small towns to accept the idea and pursue a big box Walmart. His perspective can be viewed online at “c312-Kenneth Stone Study,”

There, I just saved the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation thousands of dollars.

This appears to be another case of our local governments spending our tax dollars on one study after another until they obtain the results they want. Apparently, the 2005 commissioned Economic Planning Systems study came to the wrong conclusion when, to quote Mr. McQuiggin’s article, “... the EPS study concluded that a Big Box retailer would severely damage the local retail environment and would negatively alter the socioeconomic fabric of the community.”

If you and the CDC would like to read research supporting the EPS study conclusion, you may go online to “Key Studies on Wal-Mart and Big-Box Retail | The New Rules Project,” There is a plethora of information and research at this website.

Cynda Green


Dear Editor:

I would like to thank Mr. Dungan for attempting to educate me on the finer points of human caused global warming, errrr aaahhh I mean “climate change” (lets keep our options open). I am not particularly adept at internet research and appreciate the guidance. Wow, “... the world spewed 130,000 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2008” that’s a really big number. And “... volcanoes (only) spew about 400 billion pounds of CO2 into the air each year.” The only problem is, in my experience raw numbers (taken out of context) are most often used to deceive or mislead rather than to clarify or educate.

But, I followed his lead and checked the DOE and USGS websites for myself — and discovered there are lot of different articles that come up when you google this stuff — more than you could read in a year. The first article on the DOE site was the “Tsingua slideshow — 26 Jan 2010.” According to their figures World CO2 emissions from energy consumption was 30,000 million metric tons (this is 30 billion metric tons or 66,138 billion pounds — about half the figure Mr Dungan quoted). I took this off a graph so I could be off a million metric tons either way. On the USGS site there were several articles about volcanoes versus human CO2 production. One said volcanoes release more than 130 million tons (260 billion pounds) of CO2 per year, another said 200 million tons (400 billion pounds), and human production in 2003 was 26.8 billion tons (53,608 billion pounds). Wikipedia says volcanoes release 145-255 million tons (290-510 billion pounds) of CO2 per year. Bottom line, there are lots of numbers out there to pick from, volcanoes produce about 1 percent the CO2 as human energy consumption and the oceans contain about 50 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere. What is missing is how much CO2 is needed to promote world wide plant/algae growth, how much CO2 is produced by humans breathing, how much warming can be attributed to normal earth cycles, etc.

On other issues in his letter, I was under the impression that the current administration abdicated and ‘killed’ the Yucca Mountain project after the Bush Administration had resisted the Nimbys for eight years. The French produce something like 80 percent of their electricity with nuclear plants and do not seem to have a problem with waste disposal — maybe we could learn something from them in return for helping them get started in the nuclear power plant business 40 years ago. Reference “The Chinese also believe this policy (transition to a less carbon energy base economy) prudent and are out to dominate the solar power and wind power industries ...”, their solar and wind power industry plants are run with electricity from coal powered plants. Eighty percent of China’s electricity is produced with coal and in 2006 they had added 90 gigawatts of coal powered plants (equivalent to building two large power plants a week for a year). The plants built in 2006 added 500 million tons of CO2 to China’s annual emissions. They are not transitioning to solar and wind power, they are just happy to accommodate our preoccupation with less efficient energy sources to the detriment of our economy.

Jim Huffman

Best wishes

Dear Editor:

To Dr. Mark Wienpahl and August Vanderbeek:

Contributing to a community in a way that makes it stronger and more robust, effective and successful, rejuvenated and wholesome, is the ultimate gift. Your decades of compassion, kindness and empathy have been witnessed by so many. The healing and medical service that you have provided to this community will not be forgotten. We are sorry to have to bid you farewell. Best wishes on your newest journey.

With gratitude,

Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation

Board of Directors


Dear Editor:

Keep Pagosa safe, please.

Saturday, my daughter, her husband, two young girls and two dogs were lucky to escape a horrendous crash that destroyed their pickup truck, broke its axle, when a careless woman, speeding down 160 talking on her cell phone, struck them.

We see on TV the “big city” campaigns to keep people from texting and using their phones while driving. Please, Pagosa drivers, residents and visitors, our families are just as precious. Do not drive and use your cell phones or text.

Let’s set the standard and protect our families and community members.

Carol Otis


Dear Editor:

Seen an interesting bumper sticker the other day while strolling the alley behind The SUN. In vibrant red letters it said, “Let me make it clear.” Must have been someone who glorifies Obama. As he has used that expression countless times to keynote many of his doublespeak progressive rambles.

Well, the American people do get it. They know what he is doing; and none of us like it. As a matter a fact, the majority of us are tired of his big government control BS. Maybe he should just go sit in the corner of the Oval Office until he can pull his head out of its cranial inversion.

Got some pressing news fer ya Mr. Obama, the majority of Americans are not about to stand by silently and allow you and your progressive elites with the secular socialist ideas to take over our government.

So … “let me make it clear,” the American people are fast approaching the torches-and-pitchforks trigger point. In short: Grow a pair and learn to stand for our country’s Constitution. I can assure you that America’s patriots will stand against your Marxist worldview. “Stand” equals, Staying True to America’s National Destiny.

Thomas Jefferson said it very simply, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Jim Sawicki

Great day

Dear Editor:

On Saturday, July 10, I enjoyed participating in the 2010 Pagosa Duathalon. This year’s event was composed of three races: the original Full Duathlon with a six mile run/12 mile mountain bike ride, the Half-Du with three mile run/seven mile ride, and the Mini-Du with a half-mile run/one mile ride. People could enter either as individuals or as a member of a two-person team. It was especially fun to watch the youngsters do the Mini-Du. Many adults accompanied the children in that race and they looked like they were having as much fun as the kids.

My son, Dan, did the 6 mile run in the inaugural 2007 race while I did the 12-mile bike ride. This time, I was curious about doing the whole race by myself and decided that the Half-Du was the right choice. The Half-Du and full duathalon began shortly after the Mini-Du. I found the trails through the San Juan National Forest very scenic, well-marked, easy to navigate, and cool in the early Saturday morning hours. The camaraderie was great with everyone getting food and sharing their experience after the race.

The 2010 race had over twice as many participants as the original 2007 race which meant a lot more money for the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program. Thanks to organizer Carmen Hubbs, the volunteers, and all of the sponsors as this event has really grown. All in all, a great day!

Fred Uehling